I believe I have a 200A electric service at my house.
If I want to add a 240V outlet in the garage (to power a high power electric
pressure washer, or other tools), do I have to upgrade the panel or the
service contract with the electric company? The machine draws 20 to 30A.
I'd hire an electrician to add the outlet but I want to know the code
related issues beforehand.
It may be cheaper to buy a gas pressure washer but I don't like maintening
gas engines. And regular 120V pressure washers are too weak.
Go to your breaker panel and look at the breakers. You should see most of
them a single slot wide. There will be around 2 to 4 that are 2 slots wide
with a single handle. If you have 2 slots that just have the metel plate
over them next to each other. That is either 2 on the left side or 2 on the
right side. Then it will not be any problem. The electrician can just pop
out the blank covers and add a breaker and run the wires. You should not
have to do any upgrading of the service from the power company. If you add
up all the breakers it will total way more than the 200 amp service you
have, but unless something unusal hapens you will never have everything on
To get an estimate of the cost (not counting the electrician) see how much
wire it will take to get from the breaker to where you want the outlet.
Remember you have to go up and down the walls and such. Then go to a store
or online and look for that ammount of wire that has 2 or 3 conductors and a
ground. You need to look at the price of atleast # 10 wire. Also look at a
breaker, a receptical and a box to put it in.
3 wire ONLY - you never know what he will want to plug in that MAY
have a 120 volt component - so it needs 2 lines, plus neutral, plus
the bare or green ground. That is red, black, white, plus bare or
green. Then he needs to decide if 30 amps is all he will ever need, or
if he needs a 50 amp connection for a welder . I like to put in a 50
amp 240 line, and then make a fused or breaker protected "downshift"
adapter - 50 amp plug, breaker/fuse box, and 30 amp outlet.
The permanent connection is to code, and the adapter is safe - and not
being a permanent connection, is not subject to the inspection
process. Just make sure everything is done to the highest standards of
The real question is how hard it will be to get a wire from the garage
to the panel.
Is it an attached garage? That makes it a lot simpler, code wise.
I have a 240v/30a power washer and you are right. It is the real deal.
On Sat, 09 Nov 2013 22:06:51 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
In my garage it's dead simple - the panel is in the garage - - - - .
Getting wire ELSEWHERE in the house is fun, as it needs to go up and
across the garage ceiling (no opening to the crawlspace) and then in
through the house/garage wall - which is ALL finished..... Inside and
out. For the central vac I ran romex on the surface along the
ceiling/wall junction, down the inside corner of the garage wall, and
in through the sill into the basement where I had to remove accoustic
ceiling tile to access the wire and direct it across toi the furnace
room where the CV was installed.
On 11/9/2013 10:43 PM, email@example.com wrote:
The OP: Most of the time, it's no big deal to put
in a new socket. Especially if the garage is near
the panel, and if the garage is atached to the house.
What's your use of pressure washer, right at the
house? Washing your vinyl siding?
G: Thanks to the government, we now have three wire
and four wire dryer sockets. Sigh.
On Sun, 10 Nov 2013 05:59:21 -0500, Stormin Mormon
So make an adaprer if you need it to be "portable"
Anything recent will be 4 wire. 4 wire also allows you to make a
splitter adapter to run multiple 120 volt circuits - put a fused
disconnect or breaker subpanel and a couple of outlet boxes on a
mini-panel-board to plug into your 4 wire 240 extension circuit.
On 11/10/2013 19:38, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Be aware that such an adapter violates the separation of the protective
ground and neutral for a 120/240 volt appliance. If your pressure
washer is a "pure" 240 volt device (not needing a neutral, just two hots
and a protective ground), you can use an adapter with a 14-30 plug and
On 11/10/2013 10:38 PM, email@example.com wrote:
One time, I was repairing wall AC for an apartment
complex. I made a dryer socket (three wire) to AC
socket (three wire) pigtail. Of course, I did observe
separation of power conductors. All the white neutral
wires in the situation were properly handled, safely.
Our old house had a hard-wired dryer, so when we replaced the dryer we
had a 4-wire outlet installed. the house to which we moved -- where we
live now -- has a 3-wire socket , so I replace the 4-wire cord on the
dryer by a 3-wire cord and made whatever change was required at the
dryer end; forget the details now.
Is it OK (Code compliant) simply to run a separate ground conductor
alongside the existing 3-conductor Romex and replace the 3-wire outlet
by a 4-wire outlet and reinstall the 4-wire cord on the dryer and change
the connections on the dryer end back again? Or would I have to replace
the 3-conductor Romex by 4-conductor?
On Sun, 10 Nov 2013 22:56:16 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"
What does it say on the jacket? If it was legally wired using romex
there is going to be a ground in there most of the time.
Typically they used 10/3 wg since this is a neutral used as a ground,
not a ground. It should be a white wire.
The ground wire may be tied to the box or simply cut off.
If it is wired with SE cable, there will not be an extra wire.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.